UKC

Pete Whittaker flashes Ronny Medelsvensson (Trad 8b)

© Felix Johansson

Pete Whittaker has flashed Ronny Medelsvensson (8b) on the Profile Wall in Jøssingfjord, Norway. Pete is in fine form at the moment having climbed his long-term project 'Recovery Drink' (8c+) on the same wall last week. Ronny Medelsvensson is a crack that is climbed using thin or flaring jams and all on natural gear.

The route was first climbed by Erik Massih and Crister Jansson in 2014 and has been repeated by Tom Randall, Joakim Louis Sæther and Pete's partner Mari Augusta Salvesen.

Pete had been saving the route for a flash attempt, although a consensus had emerged that his 'oversized pork chop mitts' wouldn't fare well in the thin crack. However, earlier in the year he had spent time training thin hand cracks for his project in Utah.

He told UKC: 'I felt prepared and in all honesty, the jams felt bomber. I also have Cumberland sausage fingers and although the route suits slim hands for the thinner jams, despite what I'd heard I actually thought it suited podgy fingers for the locks.

'Like I always say in crack climbing, we shouldn't really 'size complain', although we all do it, myself included and what comes around goes around. You just have to work with the size of your body and what the crack offers. What's easier for some is harder for you, and vice versa.'

There's no tricking your way around the crack using extra holds or laybacking, either. It requires pure jamming: 'If I was ever going to put in a good flash effort on a difficult trad route, this one was my chance. I didn't need to trick anything! The climb was my trick!'

Pete didn't appear to overthink his attempt and in terms of the climbing he 'hit all the jams well, felt relaxed and smashed it out.'

Unfortunately for Pete, his traditional celebratory Bakewell Tart has been hard to source: 'Norway is a great country, fresh, clean, green, quiet and friendly, but if there is one thing they need to improve on it is their deli counter selection. I'll be hitting the Original Pudding Shop in Bakewell when I'm home, that's for sure.'

Away from the crags, Pete's major project is a book he's been working on for the past four years called Crack Climbing. It's an in-depth look at the dark art and is due to be released soon.

In terms of rock climbing, it's back to the States for Pete for his unfinished projects in Yosemite and Utah.


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20 Aug, 2019

If you aren’t a climber, this headline is going to sound very rude.

21 Aug, 2019

Good effort ! The Norwegians may not have Bakewell Tart but they do have the thinking man's Kit Kat in the form of Kvikk Lunsj !!!

21 Aug, 2019

Pete said the same on FB... 😛

21 Aug, 2019

Must be equivalent to an E9 flash? (Cue debates about E grades and crack climbing...)

22 Aug, 2019

I think so. Protected E8s tend to come in at F8a.

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